Andy Murray has said he did not know about his mother’s sexual assault, revealing that he was “angry and upset” when he heard about the incident.
Judy Murray disclosed last month that she had been indecently assaulted by a drunken executive at a function eight years ago.
The former tennis coach wrote in The Sunday Post how a man she was sitting next to thrust his hand down her trousers leaving her “sick to [her] stomach” and “disgusted”.
Discussing his mother’s experience for the first time, Murray said that his brother had already been aware of the assault, but that he had not.
“My mum did message me at the time to let me know that there was an article coming out about it,” the two-time Wimbledon champion, 35, told Emma Barnett on Bloomberg.
“And yeah, I was obviously really upset for her. I was pretty angry, but also I didn’t know quite exactly what to say… obviously, I messaged my mum, I called her the following day to talk to her to make sure that she was okay,” he said.
The tennis player said that this is “a familiar story for a lot of women,” adding: “That sort of behaviour shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere.”
‘I feel for them that they’re not able to compete’
In the interview ahead of this year’s Wimbledon Championships, the former world No 1 also addressed the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the games amid the war in Ukraine.
He said that his sympathies are “first and foremost… with the people in Ukraine and what they’re going through”, although he said he “can appreciate” that the decision might seem unfair to some players unable to compete.
“In the grand scheme of things, whether some tennis players are not able to play in an event or not, and whether there’s ranking points on offer, in the grand scheme of things, is kind of irrelevant,” he said.
“Obviously, I know quite a few of the Russian players and I’m friends with them, and I feel for them that they’re not able to compete… I can appreciate that may seem unfair to them, but I can also see Wimbledon’s side, and their point of view and the perspective that they have, and it’s very complex, but at the end of it, there’s a war going on.”
Murray said earlier this week that he intends to play Wimbledon next week but that he faces a race against time to prove his fitness as his abdominal injury continues to hamper his preparations.
He sustained the injury in the Stuttgart Open final just over a week ago, and was forced to withdraw from Queen’s last Monday as a result.
In the interview with Emma Barnett, which was recorded before his injury, Murray was asked: “Do you have to go in believing you can win again?”
Murray replied that this is “part of the motivation to still be out there competing”, but said he knows that is going to be “an unbelievably difficult thing to do”.
He said that he still believes he has “great tennis in [him]”, adding: “I still believe, and I’m still working and training as hard as I can to try and achieve that goal.”
Murray also discussed Blackpool footballer Jake Daniels’ decision to come out as gay publicly in May – becoming the first current male professional footballer in Britain to do so – saying that it was “really positive” and shines a light on tennis.
Responding to a question from Barnett, Murray said: “I think [it] was really positive that he felt comfortable enough to come out, and from what I’ve seen, most of the coverage has been extremely positive about it in the media.”
He added that there have been no male tennis players to have come out as gay “whilst they’ve still been playing”, but that a few “have come out post-career”.
“So we maybe have to ask the question as to why that is the case and why they still don’t feel comfortable to come out whilst they’re still active,” he said. “I would hope that it would be viewed positively by all of the players, and that’s certainly been the case on the female side.”